Why the Founding Fathers Chose a Republic over a Democracy
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ARE EXTREMIST (TEA PARTY) REPUBLICANS THE ENEMY AND TRAITORS TO AMERICA by R. Blackbird
Question: "Separation between Church and State." Who coined the Phrase? Give up? Answer: Thomas Jefferson - one of the founding fathers of this great Nation and a creator of the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment to that same Constitution. Thomas Jefferson, in 1802, wrote a Letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, referring to the First Amendment to the US Constitution. In it he said:
Why the Founding Fathers Chose a Republic over a Democracy
A Republic, Not a Democracy
By Greg Moeller
Constitution Party Regional Co-Chairman - Central States
Originally written in May 4, 2000 - Rev. Oct 2007
Under the well-worn banner of "power to the people," a call to allow national referendums by direct popular vote has been proposed by several politicians. The implementation of direct democracy through National Initiative and Referendum would not only subvert our system of representative government but would destroy the checks and balances so carefully crafted by our Founding Fathers in the Constitution.
The fact that such a proposition is not immediately rejected is proof that most Americans are misinformed about the nature and character of our system of government. They do not understand the thinking behind the structure of our Constitutional Republic and the protections it provides. This widespread ignorance of our political heritage presents a serious threat to the rights of every American citizen and our future security as a nation of free people.
The Constitution is the centerpiece of American government. Although the framers included democratic elements in our system of government, such as voters directly electing their representatives, our nation is not a democracy. The United States is a Constitutional Republic.
In a republic, law making powers are not exercised directly by the people but by representatives elected by the people and accountable to them through re-election.
"Modern times...discovered the only device by which rights can be secured, to wit: government by the people, acting not in person but by representatives chosen by themselves." Thomas Jefferson
It is interesting to note that during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 not one voice was raised in support of direct democracy. Indeed, direct democracy was not merely disliked by our Founding Fathers, it was feared as a harbinger of tyranny. They understood that among the fatal flaws of pure democracy is that it provides no checks and balances on the people themselves. Pure democracy has been called tyranny of the majority because it would allow 51% of the people to deprive the other 49% of their rights by a majority vote.
"…democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths." James Madison – Federalist #10
"Conservative" proponents of National Initiative and Referendum point to "successes" like Prop 22 in California as proof that further additions of direct democracy are good for our system of government. While it is tempting to focus on isolated examples to "prove" that Initiative and Referendum (I & R) can be used to pass "good" legislation, it is extremely important that we recognize that I&R has also been used to pass some very bad legislation.
Initiative & Referendum is a century old idea that was promoted by the Populist and Progressive movements for overriding corrupt politicians and disarming special interests groups of influence. However, in reality it has had the opposite effect. The modern ballot initiative process has become big business and involves big money. In California alone, during the recent primary over $150 million was spent to influence the vote on the few referendums that were on the ballot. In other cases, only a handful of people have advanced initiatives and often they were not even residents of the states whose laws they sought to change. In 1998, $91 million was spent in California for a single ballot referendum pertaining to gambling. How many of you belong to grassroots "citizen" organizations that have the ability to counter that kind of money being spent by gambling interests in your State?
Is this some politician’s idea of "power to the people" or is it "power to big money politics?" The ones holding the upper hand in the initiative process are the ones who have enough money to hire professional petitioners to place their measure on the ballot and have enough left over to sway the voters through a mass media advertising campaign.
While the nature of our constitutional system of checks and balances may be frustrating to deal with at times, to advocate bypassing them is a dangerous proposition indeed. The core issue is not whether you can pass a "good" referendum by popular vote that would have been difficult to pass through the legislature. More central is whether all aspects of legislation should be openly debated and considered fully by elected representatives, bound by oath to support the Constitution, who have the time and the duty to do so.
The framers designed our system of government so that our God-given rights would be secured and that legislation which affects many would be based on deliberate considerations of the issues by our elected representatives, not on the ever-changing winds of public opinion. As Alexander Hamilton said,
"It had been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny."
If we are to be intellectually honest regarding the efficacy of Initiative and Referendum, we must recognize the following:
1.. The voting public works full-time to put bread on the table and simply does not have the time to invest in full consideration of issues. Nor do many of them have easy access to the resources necessary for a full consideration of the issues.
2.. Initiative and Referendum can be easily exploited by special interest groups and industries with their own political agenda. They’ve found that many times it is easier to manipulate public opinion through the use of mass media than to go through the time-consuming process of supporting candidates and lobbying them for the legislation they want.
3.. In any significant initiative battle, money is usually the dominant factor. I & R is far more influenced by sound-bite ads than comprehensive reasoned arguments. This places an even greater amount of power in the hands of the media and those with the financial resources to place issues on the ballot and buy advertising time. Let’s face it, a majority of the American people still think Bill Clinton did a "good job" as president. Have these people arrived at this conclusions based on an accurate knowledge of what President Clinton did on a day to day basis, or were they influenced by the image the media presents to them?
4.. Minority interests are more likely to come out on the short end of the stick in a popular referendum environment. The fact of the matter is that the majority isn’t always right. Our system of government was designed to insure that the rights of the minority would not be trampled on by the majority. Decisions made purely on the basis of the "will" of the majority will at some point strip the minority of their rights.
However, this does not negate the reality that a whole lot of people are rightfully upset by what our elected representatives are doing. But the proper solution is not more "democracy." Keep this simple fact in mind; the representatives that you may hold in contempt were themselves elected by popular vote.
This cuts right to the heart of the matter. If you don’t like what your representatives are doing once in office, the solution is not to undermine our system of government, but rather to elect better representatives! To really change what’s happening in government, better alternatives are needed at the ballot box. People need to change both their vote and where they invest their political support. We must hold our representatives accountable to us and to their oath of office by requiring adherence to the power limits of the Constitution. The future of our children, grandchildren and indeed the nation, depends on it.
Below are Links to Enemies of Religious Freedom:
Doug Lamborn | Elizabeth Dole | James Dobson | Cheney | Richard Devos | Jim Demint | David Barton
Mike Crapo | Ann Coulter | John Cornyn | Robert Corker | Coors Family | Constitutional Republic
Conservative Brain Difference | Senator Coburn | Christians Destroying the Bible | Chambliss | Tucker Carlson
Eric Cantor | Harold Camping | Ken Calvert | Herman Cain | Burton | Richard Burton | Senator Bunning
Brownback | Breitbart | Bond | Boehner | Blunt| Big oil | Baucus | Barrasso | Barbour | Bachus
Bachmann| Are You Going to Hell | Apocalypse | Anatomy of Religious Right | American Action
Lamar Alexander | Senator Ensign | Mike Enzi | Epic Failure | Jerry Falwell | The Family
The Far Right Real Purpose | Vito Fossella | Fox News II | Senator Gordon Smith | Sen Lindsey Graham
Chuck Grassley | Senator Judd Gregg |Republican Hall of Shame | Sean Hannity | Health Care Reform
Rep Wally Herger| How to Fix Bush's Mess | Huckabee | Senator Inhofe | Iraq War | Johnny Isakson
Jeb Bush | Bobby Jindal | Johanns | John Yoo | Sally Kern | Senator Kyl | Tim Lahaye
Leinenger | Fred Lennon | Liberal Blogs | Loathsome | Trent Lott | Marrs | Chris Matthews | Patrick McHenry
Dick Morris | News Max | Newt Gingrich |Bill O'Reilly | Paleoconservative | Patriot Movement
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The Wrath of Fools | U.S. Chamber | Frank Vennes | Woodall | Wicker | Bondage Gate| Christie
Jerome Corsi | Ken Cuccinelli | Mitch Daniels | David Barton | Hijack of Christian Church
The Religious Right Hates America | Dirtiest Politicians | Nikki Haley| Rand Paul | Paul Ryan
Russell Pearce | Rick Perry | Dantes Inferno | Clarence Thomas
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